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How to Style a Bedside Table...etc

Updated: Apr 12

I design lots of rooms and homes for clients, and one thing I notice a lot is that people often struggle to add those finishing touches, such as the styling of open spaces such as coffee tables, bedside tables, shelves, open bookcases, etc.

It can be overwhelming, not knowing what to use or where to start, but there are some simple rules you can apply that should help you create picture-perfect Instagram styling for your home.

Keep it simple with a statement bedside lamp.

Add a candle or fragrance if you have space on the table. Also remember to think about the ratio of lamp base diameter to the diameter of the beside table - you don't want a large lamp base filling the whole table, you need space for those important things such as phones, glasses etc we pop on our bedside table.

The larger the surface the more you need to think about what you're using to create balance and not clutter.

Odd numbers is rule of thumb, plus you want to play around with height for interest. The triangle shape works so well when displaying objects, look at the image with the white cabinet, you will see a triangle shape from the top of the tall plant to the bird/books on the left. Can you see a triangle shape with the other images too?

Don't go with the urge to fill every space. With shelves for example, having space between objects and books looks more stylised rather than crammed full of stuff. It means those gorgeous vases you have acquired can stand out and be seen. Also it gives space for those lovely plants that require some room.

Shelves don't always have to be for books, use vases, plants, candles, ornaments too.Again think of height, you don't want to use all items of the same height, have a mix of small, medium and taller items.

When space is limited, go for slender table lamps so they're less imposing.

Finding books for display in colours of the room scheme can help elevate a small candle otherwise on its on it can look a bit lost. Again, can you see the triangle shape with the lamp and books?

For larger bookcases, if you can spread out the books and use other items such as plants, pictures etc to break up the monotony of the book.

I appreciate this looks super styled and if you're a bookworm you probably have more books. To break up the row of books you see as standard on bookcases...mix up the way you display the books. Break up the long row and have some stacked at the end.

With stacked books add a vase, candle etc on top.

You can go as far as colour coordinating if you find this works better for you...for this bookcase I did balance the colours so they're more subtle and not all blue in one area etc...

If you have the luxury of hanging pendants above your bedside table then you have more space to play with and fill.

You can add many different things here, perhaps a stack of books, vases, candles/candle holders.

Why not try a wooden tray with a vase of flowers - keep it simple with a couple of stems only and you can add a picture frame. It's nice to have more personal things on display, this is what helps make a house feel more like a home.

So key to remember is - don't overfill the flat surfaces. Think about displaying in odd numbers, look at the triangle shape you create with items - so pick items at different heights for interest.

Use a mixture of display items too, vary up and throughout the house too and make them personal to you. Personal items collected on travels, family heirlooms etc are what make a space feel so much more curated and unique. It is easy to buy all high street items to fill spaces but take the time to find those more interesting items to add that will spark conversation and memories. This is what will offer that unique style.

Thanks for reading

NB x

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